MADISON, CT — (Contributed article): The Daniel Hand girls’ swim team lost a 98-79 decision to North Haven, the 2019 Class M champions, in the Tigers’ season opener on Friday night.
Noteworthy Performances: In a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and undertaken with adherence to new safety protocols, the Tigers managed to notch seven state-qualifying times in their first contest: Kacie Wines in the 200 free (2:07.77), Abbigail Chemacki in the 200 IM (2:28.50) and 500 free (5:41.16), Emma Ruffo in the 200 IM (2:30.32) and 100 back (1:07.91), and Julia Urbowicz in the 100 fly (1:06.87) and 500 free (5:58.55).
Key finishes for Hand included the second place 200-yard medley relay team of senior co-captain Emma Ruffo, senior Ava Dougherty, freshman Haley Wines, and sophomore Julia Urbowicz (2:05.19). In the 200 free, junior Kacie Wines took second (2:07.77) and senior Alesandra Betts took fourth (2:16.92). Junior Abbigail Chemacki came in third (2:28.50) in the 200 IM, and Ruffo placed fourth (2:30.32). Haley Wines (28.03) and freshman Norah Stotz (29.90) sprinted their way to third and fifth places in the 50-yard free.
Strong performances in the 100-yard butterfly by Urbowicz (1:06.87) and senior Sophia Cadematori (1:16.17) earned Hand fourth and fifth places. Stotz (1:08.37) and freshman Lucy Schwarz (1:14.06) placed fourth and fifth in the 100 free. Showcasing Hand’s strength in the 500-yard free were Chemacki (5:41.16), Urbowicz (5:58.55) and Betts (6:18.37), who earned points for second, third and fourth. The 200 free relay team of Kacie Wines, Dougherty, freshman Molly Hoban and Schwarz placed third in 2:03.15. In the 100 back, Ruffo (1:07.91) and Kacie Wines (1:12.88) placed fourth and fifth. In the 100 breaststroke, Dougherty (1:24.25) and freshman Molly Hoban (1:30.22) earned points for Hand by placing fourth and fifth. The 400 free relay team of Chemacki, Ruffo, Kacie Wines and Urbowicz hit the wall in second place (4:12.23). In diving, sophomore Eva Alquist placed third with 157.50 points.
Hand head coach Jen Lyman expressed gratitude for the opportunity to train and compete at the Madison Racquet & Swim Club’s outdoor facility and is pleased with the team’s performance against a competitive North Haven squad. Coach Lyman also noted that swimmers have adapted well to new safety protocols due to COVID-19.